When everyone rushed to see the latest Star Wars movies I went along too, and must admit I was fascinated by these unmanned surveillance drones used by The Dark Side. Recently an article in Barnstormers called back into my memory those drones.
It turns out that during the mid to late 90s Bombardier developed something called "Sentinel and Guardian", or the CL-327 advanced vertical takeoff and landing surveillance system for gathering intelligence. And man does it look like those hovering drones from Star Wars.
The CL-327 Guardian is powered by a 125 shp Williams WTS117-5 turboshaft engine, which drives 13 ft diameter counter-rotating rotors. Gross takeoff weight is 772 lb, with an empty weight of 331 lb. Maximum endurance is reported at 6.25 hours, and the maximum cruise speed is given as 85 kt.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Breathe deep, mine eyes, the frosty saga of eternal suns
From unseen depths and dreams undreamt,
I sing the gleaming cantos of unvanquished space
By thought I embrace the universal
With wings of mind I sail the infinitude
Glory! 'tis the stars which beckon man's spirit and set our souls adrift!
— Hart Crane, 1930